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Sunday Night May Be Where it's at on Commercial Radio

Getting a New Perspective on Radio

Today I spotted an article from this weekend’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer that extols the virtues of a Sunday night hip hop show called Sunday Night Sound Session on commercial station KUBE in Seattle.

The show runs from 10:45pm to 12:15am and plays music that isn’t normally heard on the station.

The piece points out that the show is a departure from the station’s typical programming:

“KUBE…widely seen as a corporate behemoth with a playlist as deep as a puddle is actually home to the best radio show you’ve probably never heard: ‘Sunday Night Sound Session.’

…hosts DJ Hyphen and J. Moore play the latest and greatest in hip hop from both a national and local perspective — 90 minutes that are unlike any other in the KUBE lineup.

‘Our show almost operates in opposition with KUBE,’ said DJ Hyphen, aka Dorian Bunker-Pardo. ‘But all we’re focused on is good music. It’s deeper than just playing a record. It’s about something you can appreciate, something you can feel.'”

KUBE’s not alone in taking programming risks on Sunday nights. San Francisco commercial station Live 105 airs its indie/local/imports show Radio Soundcheck from 7-10pm and follows that with a show in which the audience picks the playlist through Jelli‘s interface, which promises “100% User-Controlled Radio.” Through Jelli, listeners are able to vote on the songs that they’d like to hear and the on-air playlist is entirely crafted by users (although within the limited universe of songs that are populated in Jelli) from 10pm to midnight on Sundays.

Traditionally Sunday night time slots have been seen as less desirable, the assumption being that they attract fewer listeners. But if stations open up their programming to more experimental sounds in these “dead” time slots, then perhaps they may actually draw in an audience who normally shies away from commercial radio.

What’s the Sunday night radio scene like in your town? Are your commercial stations doing anything unexpected?

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